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Remy Franck
Pizzicato, January 2016

Dramatic as Sir Georg could be, he is at his best in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, inspiring the Chicago Symphony, the choir and the excellent soloists to one awesome performance. © 2016 Pizzicato

Penguin Guide, January 2009

Recorded at the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 1989, with Chicago forces imported en masse, Sir Georg Solti’s brilliant version is excellent in every way. The performance is not as fierce as this conductor could be in this music, but it is wonderfully dramatic, with the Prom audience cheering the visitors on. Margaret Hillis’s Chicago Symphony Chorus matches the orchestra in brilliance and responsiveness, and the trio of soloists makes an ideal team. Keith Lewis as Faust is fresh and unstrained, while José van Dam is a superb Mephistopheles, tender and seductive as well as flamboyant, and Anne Sofie von Otter, handsome in royal blue, sings flawlessly as Marguerite, at her most tender in the Roi de Thule aria. Rodney Greenberg’s video direction effectively brings out the atmospheric qualities of the Royal Albert Hall.

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